Man headed to jail after body slamming police dog, tossing it into a ravine during an arrest

Published 7:08 am Wednesday, June 12, 2019

A Mississippi man was sentenced to two years in prison for injuring a police dog during a 2017 arrest.

Ninth Circuit District Court Judge M. James Chaney sentenced Thomas Bruce Wilkerson Jr., 28, 2986 Mississippi 27, after a May 24 sentencing hearing.

Wilkerson was sentenced to 10 years in prison with two years to serve on the charge of injuring a Warren County Sheriff’s deputy’s K-9, and five years in prison with two to serve on the grand larceny charge. The sentences will run concurrently, or together, for two years.

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He was also ordered to undergo long-term drug an alcohol abuse treatment and pay a total of $3,169 in fines, fees and costs.

The charge involving the K-9 stems from a July 9, 2017, incident when a deputy attempted to stop Wilkerson for reckless driving and he fled, driving into the yard of a home on Nailor Road and then running in to a wooded area.

He was later seen by deputy Rick McDaniel, who attempted to stop him. McDaniel and Wilkerson got into a tussle, with Wilkerson pushing McDaniel down, and running off. McDaniel opened his car door to let his K-9 partner, Soldier, out.

The dog caught Wilkerson and bit him on the leg before being picked up, body slammed and tossed down the ravine.

Authorities captured Wilkerson about five hours later in a wooded area off Grange Hall Road where he was hiding.

Sheriff Martin Pace said Soldier, McDaniel’s personal dog, later returned to duty. He said McDaniel and Soldier later moved to a town in Alabama, where McDaniel was hired as police chief.

The grand larceny involves the theft of a Husqvarna golf cart from the All Saints Episcopal School. The school is the site of the AmeriCorps Southern Region campus. Wilkerson was indicted on the charge in February.